Sunday, March 29, 2020

Extending Grace

In our current national argument of You're Panicking vs. No, You're Not Taking This Seriously there is extreme attribution of what those others must be thinking, even to the point of mind-reading the worst.

We have on the one hand Didn't you know you were going to die of something?  Don't you know that all of life includes risk? This carries the undercurrent of You were giddy children who refused to face responsibility, and now reality has overcome you and you can't stand it.  There is an additional argument which says This is much worse for the economy than you are admitting, and people are hurting. The undercurrent to that is You don't really care about them, do you?

On the other side we have This is not like the flu. If we can limit the damage to that of a mild flu season it will still be extra thousands of deaths over and above that. Plus, it could be worse. The undercurrent of that is Can't you people do math?  Don't you know what contagion is? The additional economic argument is We are starting from the strongest economy in world history. We are disrupting the economy but not destroying any physical parts of it, knowledge, or skills. We will recover.  This carries the subtext of Eh, get over it. You'll be fine in the long run.

I have read occasional extremist commenters, and when those show up, the internet is very good at opponents giving them attention, as if they were somehow representative of the people one disagrees with. There actually are those out there who think it's a good thing that we kill off a percentage of our less-productive people, especially as it's their own fault for not taking care of themselves. There actually are those who think it is good that the economy is hit hard, so that Americans won't pollute the earth and exploit other peoples so much.  I don't think either group is numerous.

Extend grace.  I am more on that second side, believing people aren't taking this seriously enough.  Yet I have always been aware that life is risk and I will die someday.  I have been thinking about death since I was a child, so I don't think the extremist accusation applies to me. As to those who accuse us of panic, I don't think many of you are being irresponsible and unsafe in your actions, endangering the rest of us.  Most of you are just raising serious questions about balancing uncertain safety versus more certain economic damage.


Boxty said...

It could be that Covid-19 is worse than the normal flu AND we crash the economy. What then? Will it take another world war to fix it? How many lives will that cost?

Assistant Village Idiot said...

The Roaring 20s came after the Spanish Flu, and both Germany and Japan rebounded quickly after much more serious devastation than we are going to see. We could be in for difficult times, but I have to see them as temporary.

Sam L. said...

I'm 76...and I got the SPIRIT (of it)!

Texan99 said...

It doesn't take wars to fix economies. At most, wars sometimes get us to quit doing dumb things that were dragging down the economy. We can quit doing the dumb things even without the wars, it's just harder to get some people on board without the existential threat.